It's been a while since we last welcomed a classic Nseries device at our office. Nokia N85 was the last one to call by, and now we meet its successor - the Nokia N86 8MP. The seven-month long gap naturally brings some new UI graphics and some changes under the hood and there they are implemented on the Nokia N86.
The first thing you will notice is the new icons all around the UI. We already met them in the touch controlled 5800 and N97.
The standby theme and main menu have no changes as we speak of functionality. All the usual suspects are here and remain the same - Maps, Tools, Settings, Messages, etc.
The standby screen has the three familiar styles - vertical bar, horizontal bar and a basic view. They are also updated with the Symbian touch edition icons.
In the end, it's the same old UI, but in new, more elegant and modern clothing.
The gallery of Nokia N86 8MP uses the good-looking and well-known 3D rotating view that has been reserved for Nseries turf only. However we saw the same gallery on the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic, so we guess even old traditions break under the pressure of modern competition.
The speed of photo browsing increases if you press and hold the direction buttons on the D-pad. This allows quick skipping of tons of files if you're not in the habit of cleaning up your file system every now and then.
Otherwise, the Nseries gallery brings no changes in terms of features - pictures can be viewed in both portrait and landscape mode and zoomed in up to 400%. Zooming speed has received a small boost and while it's not a record breaker by any means, it's noticeably faster than say, a certain Samsung INNOV8, which runs the same OS.
You've already seen the nice little kickstand that Nokia N86 comes with. It's probably good to know that it's active meaning that when you flip it open, the image gallery automatically kick in on screen. The image gallery may be the default application top launch, but in fact that behavior is customizable and you can set some other feature or even an application or a game to launch when you hit the kickstand open. The same goes for the shorter, reversed direction of the slider as well.
The music player, just like the gallery and most of the user interface, does not come with any changes. It's the familiar Nseries player we (and probably you as well) have met so many times before.
Quite naturally, the music player can also be minimized to play in background. In this case a tab appears on the stand-by screen indicating the currently running track.
Video player is still intact - the Real player. As usual DivX and XviD decoding is not supported and you'll need third party software to add that.
If you haven't heard already, Nokia have went as far as renaming the good old Nokia Maps as Ovi Maps to secure a strong foothold for their fledgling online Ovi services.
There are no differences besides the name - it offers the same functionality and controls. As usual it does an excellent job - especially when you activate the voice guided navigation that comes with a free three-month licence.
Nokia N86 8MP also features a digital compass. It's available through Ovi Maps and for it to work you need the map zoomed on your current GPS position. And don't forget to check if the phone sensors are turned on from the settings menu. If these requirements are fulfilled you'll see the small compass icon lightning in green and the map will automatically rotate as you do.
After the completely lack of any N-Gage presence in the N97 (although it was said to support it much like every other Nseries device out there), it seems that Nokia have managed to ship N86 8MP with N-gage support right out of the box.
There are some good 15 trial titles pre-installed and one full unlocked game. Don't expect too much - it's just the Tetris, but you will enjoy some of the other games and most of them cost only a few bucks.
Well, that's about it - there aren't really many new things to share about the current S60 implementation. But that doesn't mean Nokia N86 8MP doesn't hide a good number of other exciting features. You are welcome to jump on the next page for a scoop of what the 8 megapixel camera offers on this thing.